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Rationale and Design of the Statins Use in Intracerebral Hemorrhage Patients (SATURN) Trial.

INTRODUCTION: The benefits and risks of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor (statin) drugs in survivors of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) are unclear. Observational studies suggest an association between statin use and increased risk of lobar ICH, particularly in patients with apolipoprotein-E (APOE) ε2 and ε4 genotypes. There are no randomized controlled trials (RCTs) addressing the effects of statins after ICH leading to uncertainty as to whether statins should be used in patients with lobar ICH who are at high risk for ICH recurrence. The SATURN trial aims to evaluate the effects of continuation versus discontinuation of statin on the risk of ICH recurrence and ischemic major adverse cerebro-cardio-vascular events (MACCE) in patients with lobar ICH. Secondary aims include the assessment of whether the APOE genotype modifies the effects of statins on ICH recurrence, functional and cognitive outcomes and quality of life.

METHODS: The SATURN trial is a multi-center, pragmatic, prospective, randomized, open-label, Phase III clinical trial with blinded end-point assessment. A planned total of 1456 patients with lobar ICH will be recruited from 140 sites in the United States, Canada and Spain. Patients presenting within seven days of a spontaneous lobar ICH that occurred while taking a statin, will be randomized (1:1) to continuation (control) vs. discontinuation (intervention) of the same statin drug and dose that they were using at ICH onset. The primary outcome is the time to recurrent symptomatic ICH within a two-year follow-up period. The primary safety outcome is the occurrence of ischemic MACCE.

CONCLUSION: The results will help to determine the best strategy for statin use in survivors of lobar ICH and may help to identify if there is a subset of patients who would benefit from statins.

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